Jan 15, 2006

Schools and Jobs and Jobs at Schools

An actual blog entry.

My sense of humor is on vacation, happens every year in midwinter, sorry, dear readers. That's why no blog for a while. Feeling blah and fuzzy. Dear husband is illegally downloading The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for me, the lovable rascal, but it hasn't helped yet. I've told him that a long trip to a warm sunny place would work better, but does he listen? No, so just my sense of humor gets to go. Sheesh.

Anyway, I've been losing quite a bit of sleep this past week over a buncha stuff:

A teaching position has opened at a small college I worked at recently, which I would have a shot at. However, several years ago I got pretty badly mauled by the politics of academia, in what I feel was an abusive situation. And this isn't any better, just different patterns of abuse. In this situation I would be the person perpetually soothing injured egos, not the scapegoat. This college has no English majors. Very few students are even interested in liberal arts. Every year, it seems, the faculty endures a bruising labor dispute or some kind of battle that pits Division X against Division Y. The money is scant. No tenure. Whee!

Got that? OR I could teach English enrichment to a handful of gifted 7th and 8th graders. The principal of my sons' Montessori asked me last week if I wanted to do it. Also they are encouraging us to keep Jack there, and can offer reduced tuition. I went back to them and said that if Jack doesn't go to public school then I would need to work more, and would they let me do some grantwriting and PR work (the latter I already do for them on a freelance basis) on a salaried basis. She called the president of the board and will get back to me . . . . I have to say this job is much more appealing than the college job. Mainly because the people are actually nice. And they're professional. Plus, they know and love my children. It's close to my house. And they will pay me to read books and teach writing to kids who already love it.

We live in a town with a "blue ribbon" school district, and we're paying high tax bills for the privilege, so why would we send our kids to private school? Here's why I'm tempted: because Jack reads at a 3rd or 4th grade level now in kindergarten, and we're afraid he will be bored. At the school he goes to now, he could just keep going at the pace he is going now, which is completely his own initiative. My question for the Internet is: How horrible is it to be slightly bored in first and second grade? And my second question is: What happens if you blow college savings on private school?

And what's brown and sticky?

A stick.


mc said...

The job at the Montessori school sounds great, Lauren. As for the boredom: I was bored through most of elementary and junior high school, and it certainly didn't kill me. Just meant that I read a LOT when I got home from school and that the other kids thought I was nerdy... which I was. Also, and most importantly, I am a big fan of the stick jole!

Lauren said...


I guess you mean the stick joke. I was struggling to figure out what a stick jole was. Something that saved you in your years of boredom in school? Should I know what it is?

Scrivener said...

Sounds to me like you already know what you want to do, job-wise. And that Montessori job sounds awfully cool to me--the tuition break's gotta be worth a fair amount to, I'd guess. A similar thought has crossed my mind.

And, hey, if you can't go on vacation to someplace warm, then it's awfully kind of you to send your sense of humor there. Though, to be honest, I think you must have a back-up sense of humor in there somewhere, because this post is still quite funny--more, in my opinion, in the first paragraph than in the stick joke itself.

Sugarmama said...

Are you at all undecided about the job choice? To me, it's quite clear that the Montessori job is the way to go, but as Scrivener said you already seem to know that. As for the boredom in school issue, it's not HORRIBLE really. My own 7-1/2 year old was slightly bored in 1st grade last year, but what bright kid isn't? I suppose I was, too, and took to reading under my desk or reading ahead in the textbooks. You get around it, I guess. I suppose you could always try a year in Montessori and see if was such an improvement that it was worth the expense...

susan said...

Lauren, I do most of my work with non-majors and I've really come to like it (although in a situation where people are nice and generally big fans of all the writing-for-non-majors programming I coordinate with a group of wonderful people). From the way you write about it, it's hard to see why you're losing sleep over the jobs since the Montessori one really seems to be the one you want.

I"m hoping people will chime in on spending college-savings on elementary school tuition, since that's what we're currently contemplating doing. My thinking is that while there are plenty of adults--like mc--who might have been bored in elementary school and are fine, happy people today, it's hard to tell what happens to the whole population of bored-in-school kids. Curious Girl is still too young for us to have a sense of her academic self, but I am really drawn to a couple of private schools in the area that do a wonderful job of combining outdoor education with a real commitment to diversity and helping children be comfortable with who they (and their families) are. And as our family is a-typical in several ways, I really value that, and I'm not sure the public schools would be so enthusiastic about all those messages. But then, sometimes, I think "it's just elementary school. She'll be fine wherever." It's hard to know what to do, and we obsess about it every year at this time (since applications are due for the fall shortly).

Me, I'd be drawn to a curriculum that would let my child keep exercising that initiative.

Anjali said...

Does your public school offer an accelerated reader program (where kids are given materials at the grade level they read)? If so, he might not be that bored. I'd talk to kids that are at his grade level in the public school sytem and see how they're doing.
Both jobs sound neat. Particularly the one at the Montessori.

Amishlaw said...

On your first question, public school or Montesorri, don't lose any sleep about it. A bright child is not going to become dumb by going to an average school. Just make sure you provide a lot of other mind challenges; like music lessons, art classes, science or math camps, etc. Ask the kid what he wants to do about school and let him decide. Either way is going to work out fine. On your second question, don't lose any sleep about it. Here's the dirty little secret that the people who make a living advising you about financing college don't tell you: It doesn't make any difference whether you save up any money or not. When your sons are ready to go to college, you will fill out a government form, FAFSA, or something like that, which will calculate how much money you can afford to contribute to your sons' education. The difference will be made up with financial aid. So, if you have a bunch of money saved up, it will just reduce the financial aid they get. One caveat; the amount the government thinks you can contribute is insanely high, so make sure you and your spouse are earning big bucks when the time actually comes. So blow your money now and get rested up for the two jobs you and your spouse will each have to hold in another 12 years.

mc said...

Ack, just now checking back in to see my horrible typo. See what years of boredom in elem school do to you -- rob you of the ability to proofread!

Ok, that was nowhere as funny as the stick joke. Sorry about that... ;)